SBA Lending Ends FY18 at Lowest Level in Four Years

…yet average loan size reached eight-year peak

For the second consecutive year, volume under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s popular 7(a) program declined in Fiscal Year 2018, which ended on September 30th. In FY18 there were 60,353 loans made in the SBA’s flagship 7(a) program, with an associated total dollar amount of $25.4 billion. After peaking at just over 64,000 in FY16, the number of 7(a) loans fell three percent to 62,430 in FY17 and then another three percent in FY18.

“We are providing tools, resources and access to capital for America’s 30 million small businesses, and our FY18 numbers bear that out. SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs have never been more dynamic, easy to use and accessible-helping small businesses succeed and thrive. Our loan programs in FY18 continue to show strong performance, and we believe the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory actions will help more small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.”
~SBA Administrator Linda McMahon

Interestingly, despite the FY18 decline in units and dollar volume, the average 7(a) loan size has been climbing for the past four years, averaging $420,393 in FY18—a peak over the 8-year period shown in the accompanying graph.

Live Oak, Wells Fargo and Huntington Dominate SBA Lending

The most active SBA 7(a) lenders in the U.S. by lending volume as of March 31, 2018 are shown in the table below. In terms of total loan amount, Live Oak Banking Company, Wells Fargo and Huntington National Bank were the dominant players. In terms of the number of loans, Huntington is the leader with 4,628 7(a) loans, followed by Wells Fargo with 3,898 and JPMorgan Chase with 2,604 loans.